Elbow Pain

Elbow Pain Overview

Elbow pain is a common type of pain that makes it difficult to perform many key upper extremity movements. The key to effective elbow pain treatment is identifying the cause. Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) elbow specialists accurately diagnosis the elbow pain cause and create a customized treatment plan to dramatically reduce pain and other unpleasant symptoms.

Symptoms & Causes

Elbow pain symptoms may include:

  • Burning pain
  • Dull, aching pain
  • Radiating
  • Shooting pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Pain may make it difficult to move the elbow and perform many normal day-to-day movements.

Elbow pain causes include:

  • Bursitis
  • Fractures
  • Inflammation
  • Ligament sprains
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendon strains

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options are very good at relieving elbow pain. After a thorough evaluation, a CONA elbow specialist may recommend:

  • A brace
  • Activity modification
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Immobilization (a cast, splint or sling)
  • Physical therapy
  • Rest and ice

A corticosteroid injection may be offered for fast-acting pain relief. Surgery may be recommended to treat some elbow injuries and conditions that do not respond to nonsurgical treatment options. CONA elbow specialists perform all minimally invasive and traditional elbow procedures.


A CONA specialist carefully listens as the patient describes their injury and symptoms. A thorough elbow physical examination is performed to see what movements produce symptoms. X-rays and an MRI are ordered to view the elbow bones and soft tissues. An accurate diagnosis is made and a customized treatment plan is prescribed.

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